If you slip and fall on commercial property and suffer injury, you may have a claim for damages. In order to bring a claim, there must be some degree of negligence on the part of the owner of the premises, or the persons responsible for maintaining the premises. There are several things you can do immediately after the accident to help preserve your claim.
— Complete an incident report. Ask to speak to a manager and document the fall by completing an incident report. If the first employee you speak to is unable to help you with a report, ask to speak to a supervisor. While a fall in a public place can be an emotional experience, don’t leave the store without making sure there is a record of the event. Try to obtain a copy of the report if possible.
— Gather witness information. If anyone saw the fall, ask for their name and contact information. A neutral, unbiased witness can be the key to establishing liability against the store, and it is often difficult or impossible to obtain witness contact information at a later date.
— Seek medical care immediately. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the injuries appear relatively “minor” in the adrenaline-filled moments after the fall, it is important to document your symptoms with a medical professional. Often the true severity of the injury and pain is not appreciated until days after the accident, and the doctors examining you immediately after the fall will be able to provide important medical opinions on your case.
— Consult with an attorney. There are several important steps an attorney can take in the days immediately following your accident that can be of great benefit to your claim. Many facilities have video surveillance that may show the fall and the events leading up to the incident. These videotapes are often destroyed after a brief period of time unless a proper written request to preserve the evidence is sent to the store and their insurance carrier. Additionally, it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney prior to speaking with the insurance company handling the claim.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, contact Michles & Booth today for a free consultation. Our lawyers have experience handling premise liability cases in Alabama and across the Florida panhandle.